CaringBridge Advisory Council
CaringBridge Advisory Council members provide leadership that supports the organization's mission, vision and values, as well as our Strategic Plan and business priorities. They have a multitude of skills and knowledge in digital business, interactive marketing, brand positioning and industry trends. They also possess a passion for helping more families benefit from CaringBridge.
Barb Farrell Chair
Barb Farrell began her relationship with CaringBridge in 2002, calling to offer any help she could. Her first gesture was a generous donation. She quickly landed a spot on our Board of Directors and has worked tirelessly since then on numerous CaringBridge committees, primarily heading the Development Committee that enhanced donations, our most important source of revenue, from $200,000 to more than $4 million over several years.
In 2004 Barb created a relationship with a data hosting company when that function was a critical need at CaringBridge. She has also chaired the Board Development committee since its inception and has served as its Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
Barb has continued to connect people to CaringBridge, and with her husband Frank has been one of our staunchest supporters and most dedicated volunteers over the years.
Berit Francis, a registered nurse, has long been a philanthropic leader in Minneapolis. She first learned about CaringBridge in 2008 after her sister-in-law started a site for Berit's youngest daughter Marit, who'd been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.
Berit is a dedicated volunteer and active member of the CaringBridge family. She is amplifying love, hope and compassion with her three part Amplifer Hub blog series about the journey through Marit's cancer, and plans to write a book about their experience. She is an active volunteer for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and is an advocate against rape and sexual violence.
Berit and her husband Michael live in Orono, Minnesota with their four children.
Bill is the President, Ash Grove Group, Inc. and has been with the company since 1998. The mission of Ash Grove Group, Inc. is to help individuals and organizations recognize and use their personal and professional assets to achieve their highest potential. Ash Grove Group, Inc. helps clients identify core values, map out action plans that are in alignment with those values, and challenge and encourage clients so that they enjoy more success, satisfaction, fulfillment, and balance in their lives. Recognized as a Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, Bill serves his clients and his profession with equal vigor by staying abreast of the latest advances in the field and applying his knowledge and insight to his work as an executive coach.
After leaving the active practice of law and becoming a full-time coach in 1998, Bill had worked in a variety of senior leadership positions at West Publishing Company, one of the premier legal publishers in the country (Now Thomson-Reuters).
He is known for a keen sense of humor, a presenter, and willingness to do what it takes to assist clients in reaching their goals. After eight years in Santa Barbara, he has returned to Minnesota and serves clients primarily in North America.
Patty Pannkuk, vice president for Wells Fargo's corporate Community Support Programs group, manages a variety of community support and employee engagement programs for the bank's volunteerism program. She has managed the corporate-wide infrastructure that supports team member volunteerism, including communications, the events management and volunteer hours tracking platform, team member training and recognition.
Patty is an active participant on our Amplifier Hub, volunteering at the Minnesota State Fair and promoting the CaringBridge mission to amplify love, hope and compassion.
Scott Schwefel is managing partner at Insights, a firm whose proprietary Insights Discovery System provides the basis for self discovery and communications improvement. This Jungian-based psychometric tool details an individual's psychological type and their preferred communications style. Scott has worked with many companies worldwide to improve their communication systems and leadership styles.
Scott has an in-depth understanding of the workings of CaringBridge and contributes exceptional expertise in leadership and communications. Scott has also served as a CaringBridge Board member.
Arleen Sullivan rarely slows down. For over 20 years she has sharpened her financial services skills and now excels as a President of the Business Banking East Market at Anchor Bank. In this role, Arleen provides the strategic and tactical direction needed to deliver and grow commercial and small business services combined with the oversight required to manage total loans of $425 million and core deposits of $185 million. Working with her team of bankers, Arleen ensures that each customer’s financial objectives are matched with Anchor’s capable professionals.
Arleen’s ability to meet common goals translates into success in her community outreach activities too. As a prior spokesperson for the Southwest YMCA Y-Partners Program, she inspired cooperation and involvement for the benefit of children and families in many communi¬ties. Moreover, Arleen’s commitment to the Eagan Rotary Club, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Eagan Founda¬tion, exhibits her strong desire to invest in the same community where she lives and enjoys long bike rides with her family. Whether Arleen is on an active vacation or just enjoying a novel at home, surrounding herself with family is always her first priority.
Kathy Tavitian offers CaringBridge a wealth of experience and leadership in the healthcare industry.
Kathy is a Yale Law School graduate and former CPA. She is also the Interim President and COO of the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, Inc. (CLOUD), a nonprofit dedicated to restructuring the Internet to enhance privacy and security,
She has also served as the CEO of the California eHealth Collaborative and the National Coalition for Health Integration, both of which encourage the secure exchange of health data to create a more patient-centric, value-based healthcare system.
Currently, Kathy holds the Chief Operating Officer title at edifyHEALTH. Earlier, Kathy was a Senior Executive at Walgreens, where she led several successful entrepreneurial business-to-business initiatives in addition to earlier roles as a Senior Attorney and Senior Real Estate Manager. During her 15-year career at Walgreens, where Kathy was responsible for almost $1 billion in incremental annual revenue, she gained a broad perspective of the pharmacy and healthcare industry. She also built synergistic partnerships across the healthcare industry and led the design and adoption of innovative pharmacy and wellness solutions that enhanced patient-centric care, including programs focusing on increasing care coordination and medication adherence.
At Large Committee
Nikki Abramson is the author of the newly published book "I Choose Hope-Overcoming Challenges with Faith and Positivity." Nikki is an international adoptee who battles several rare medical challenges in her life. She is a teacher, artist, performer, mentor, and coach. She holds a BA from Bethel University in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Besides being on the advisory council for CaringBridge.org and is the board chair for the Resource Committee of Adopted Adults. Her company Renew Hope LLC speaks to a wide range of audiences sharing her message of hope to the world. In her spare time she enjoys Disney World, Mexican food, and Caribou coffee. For more information go to her websites: www.nikkiabramson.com or www.renewingyourhope.org.
Karl Baltes has worked for Target for the past 14 years. He began in infrastructure operations supporting Target.com and application deployments. He gained software development experience leading an upgrade of Target’s Finance and Imaging systems, Grocery, and Backroom Replenishment. Karl had the unique opportunity with Target Stores performing innovative proofs of concept ranging from RFID to mobile device optimization. His previous role was the Director of Security Compliance where he built a team responsible for IT general controls and program management to proactively meet compliance and protect guest and company information throughout Target’s environment. Currently, Karl is the Director of Canadian Systems overseeing the technology program for Target’s international entry into Canada. His team provides software delivery for 300 systems; process governance for resource, contract and financial management; and security strategy to ensure compliance with Canadian regulation and privacy laws.
Karl spent 10 years at US Bank where he worked in Property Development focusing on acquisitions and the integration of post-merger financial, tax, and real estate operations.
Karl received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St John’s University and holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Thomas. He has a passion for development coaching and organizational change management.
Karl serves on the At-Large Sub-Committee.
Anthony J. Barrett, MBA, Board Member of CLOUD, a not for profit industry consortium based in Austin, TX. Tony’s career spans over 33 years in both advanced technology and healthcare services. He has held senior executive/officer roles in sales, marketing and business development at Xerox, Apple Computer, Walgreens, Prime Therapeutics (LLP of Blue Cross/Blue Shield), Healthways and most recently Truveris.
Tony graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S.Marketing/Economics degree and received his M.B.A. from Dominican University.
He has been married to Angela for 30 years and has one son attending Loyola University-Quinlan School of Business. Mr Barrett commented "I'm honored to partner with Caringbridge so we can expand this gift to the world."
Julie Burrows has been the President of Burrows Product Results, Inc located in Minneapolis, MN for over 10 years. A consulting firm dedicated to driving growth through marketing, digital and strategic planning Burrow Product Results, Inc combines best practices of consumer marketing strategy for big growth initiatives for various companies. Julie creates the vision, business plan and execution that drive real value for Fortune 500 and start-ups companies alike.
Before Burrows Product Results, Inc. Julie was Chief Operating Office for Canterbury Laboratories in Holden, MA, Cosmeceutical start-up where Julie successfully built the vision and launch plans that attracted multi-million dollar investments in the company initiation major company growth. Julie also held Business leadership positions at Internet Broadcasting Systems and The Pillsbury Company both located in Minnesota.
Julie is an avid golfer and an outdoor enthusiast. You can find her picture amongst previous Edina High School star athletes as an inductee into their Athletic Hall of Fame. Julie and her husband currently reside in Minneapolis, MN.
David Durenberger was elected to replace Hubert and Muriel Humphrey as senior U.S. Senator from MN in 1978. The only MN Republican in history elected to three terms in the Senate, Durenberger retired in 1995, having served 16 years on the Senate Finance Committee and on five other committees. He is founder and current Chair of the National Institute of Health Policy at the Opus College of Business of the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He has also served on various national health commissions and boards including the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the National Commission on Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Senator Durenberger has authored books on health policy and national security policy, is a nationally sought after public speaker, and writes a popular bi-weekly national commentary on current events.
David serves on the At-Large Sub-Committee.
Andy has spent more than 20 years in the healthcare industry working in various capacities in the Health IT, Medical Device, Managed Care, and Population Health arenas. He has broad executive experience with roles in Sales and Marketing, Strategy, Business Development and Operations.
In his current role he is charged with managing strategy and partnerships for Optum Labs, a broad “Big Data” health care collaborative focused on innovation and research. Prior to Optum Labs, Andy applied his experience across a national client base of organizations seeking to tackle the pressing issues of health reform, including the formation of accountable care organizations (ACO’s). This includes advising provider organizations seeking to assume risk in new models of accountable care, on the building blocks foundational to this competency; Network Development, Connectivity, Analytics, Patient Engagement and Population Management. In addition to his experience in health technology, Andy has run businesses in the health and wellness space, with specific focus on the points of intersection between technology and enhanced health management.
Andy received his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, and his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University St. Thomas. Prior to his current role with Optum, Andy spent eight years with Baxter International where he led sales, marketing and operations teams primarily focused on the commercial operations of Baxter’s Biotechnology division. Prior to Baxter he worked with Abbott Laboratories in Chicago where he was focused on the clinical diagnostics space.
Andy serves on the At-Large Sub-Committee.
Jennifer Behre Moccia has spent over 17 years within the Condé Nast organization and has over 25 years' experience in publishing and advertising. Her expertise in luxury marketing spans the full range of business categories, from the endemic fashion, retail, beauty, jewelry and watch, to the non-endemic categories including automotive, liquor and travel.
As Executive Fashion Director, Corporate Partnerships in the Condé,Nast Media Group Moccia works directly with a short list of European and American fashion companies to develop and manage their partnership across all Condé Nast brands and platforms, including, print, digital, video and marketing services.
Prior to the CNMG, Moccia served as Publisher, responsible for all advertising sales related to STYLE.COM and MEN.STYLE.COM after having spent 8 years as Associate Publisher at W Magazine. Before joining W, Moccia was part of the Talk Magazine launch team, where she oversaw the sales team covering Fashion, Beauty, Jewelry & Watches, Book Publishing and Luxury e-commerce. Prior to Talk, Moccia spent 4 years at Vogue, rising to the position of International Fashion Director. She began her career at Atlanta Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia.
Carmela Coyle is the President & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA), a position she has held since July 2008. MHA is the advocate for Maryland hospitals, health systems, and the communities and patients they serve.
In her role, Carmela is sharpening the association’s focus on advocacy and public policy. Quality and patient safety is a priority, where she is helping hospitals make health care in Maryland the safest in the nation. She is currently leading an effort to rethink the future of payment in Maryland and to both preserve and modernize Maryland’s Medicare waiver for the next 30 years. In addition to her post at MHA, Carmela also serves on the Board of the Maryland Patient Safety Center, the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute, and PRIME, MHA’s shared services organization.
Previously, she spent 20 years with the American Hospital Association (AHA). As a member of AHA’s executive management team, Carmela was responsible for developing AHA’s policy positions on behalf of the hospital and health system field. She managed AHA's team responsible for analysis of legislation and regulation, policy issues, data collection, and trend analysis. Carmela also served as a national media spokesperson for the AHA and represented the organization in various health care and other forums.
Before joining AHA, Carmela spent six years as an analyst for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C.
As the Vice President of Products at BitYota, the next generation big data warehouse-as-a-service, Poulomi Damany passionately believes in the intersection of data and affordable, ubiquitous technology to make the world a better place. Before BitYota, she led global product and engineering teams at Yahoo! and Symantec/Veritas building and using data platforms to deliver scalable and personally relevant experiences. Poulomi’s past experience also include a stint at McKinsey & Co. and co-founding a B2B startup. She holds a Computer Science degree from Lehigh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon
Poulomi is excited to lend her expertise and passion in support of CaringBridge's mission of making each health journey easier through compassion, connection and community.
Mandy Tuong is assistant general counsel for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. In this role, Mandy provides legal and business counsel for the foundation’s operations and grantmaking efforts. Her work also supports the foundation’s approach to advocacy and external networks to further its impact.
Before joining the foundation, Mandy served as senior counsel at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Fortune 500, not-for-profit, financial services company, where she provided legal and business leadership for strategic development, marketing, social media, corporate philanthropy, community affairs, foundation governance, tax, intellectual property and other corporate matters. Mandy was previously an attorney at the Minneapolis-based law firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard P.A. in the in the areas of trusts and estates, probate, tax, trusts and estates litigation. During that time, she committed to nearly 100 hours annually to pro bono legal work.
Mandy has served on a variety of boards, including the Oberlin College Alumni Executive Board, MacPhail Center for Music, and Central Minnesota Legal Services (Legal Aid). She has volunteered regularly for organizations such as House of Charity, the Ohio public school system, and Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, and serves as a mentor in the professional and legal community.
Mandy received a J.D. with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was an editor on the Minnesota Law Review. She also received undergraduate double degrees from Oberlin College and Oberlin College Conservatory in history (B.A.) and piano performance (B.M.).